I recently asked a coaching client how she wanted to feel in her life.
She looked perplexed by the question and wrinkled her brow.
“Feel?” she said.
She held my gaze and then with a pained expression began massaging her right temple vigorously.
“Is this a trick question?” she asked,
I shook my head.
“Feel…feel…feel…” she repeated.
She closed her eyes.
Struggling she said, “Ahhhh, I’m going to have to give this more thought. I’ll get back to you.”
She did. A week later.
“I know how I want to feel,” she announced her face glowing and open.
“Playful, joyous, enchanted.”
There was a new vibrancy and I felt I could see her her kid self shining through the woman in front of me.
It was a breakthrough.
SHUT DOWN AND OUT OF TOUCH
Chances are, if you are like me or my client, you’ve been out of touch with how you want to feel in your life.
You can understand how this happens.
As women, we are innately focused on what we must do, achieve, and accomplish to keep multiple balls airborne and everything moving forward. We invest fully in this task. “Whatever it takes!” is the rallying cry. Little do we know our feeling self is slowly shutting down as we take on this world class level of ‘doing’.
When we’re women with big dreams, hopes and responsibilities – the shutting down turns us into windup toys who continually windup and power through life. Until we don’t.
WE’VE BEEN CONDITIONED
As women born in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s we’ve been trained, taught and conditioned to turn down the volume and velocity of our emotions and our emotional responses. So, we devote our lives to the ‘doing’, taking care of everything and everybody and creating never ending to-do lists and meticulously ticking things off. We’re left with a sense of self built on what we’ve done and accomplished.
WE SUPPRESS THE NEGATIVE
When was the last time you had a big, loud, righteous cry? Allowed yourself to collapse into the soothing arms of compassion from someone who feels for you? Let yourself feel lost, weak, or unable to cope? When did you last say, “I surrender!!!!”
When we do feel something deeply we think our balance is gone. We’re momentarily lost to the abyss. To say, “I feel weak” is not desirable or acceptable. We’ll do anything to keep motoring forward and keep the everything-is-just-fine ‘mask’ in place.
IS THIS YOU?
If you’re like most of us, you can see yourself in this scenario.
You bump into a friend.
“How are you?” she asks.
Your face opens in a wide, practiced smile, “I’m fine…You?”
For many women the highest goal is ‘fine’. When we do that we are accepting a plain, vanilla emotional life. But there is nothing pain and nothing vanilla about a woman.
WHEN WE DISCONNECT FROM OUR FEELINGS WE FEEL—DISCONNECTED.
Disconnected from ourselves, disconnected from life itself.
And when we practice disconnection successfully for 20, 30, 40, or 50 years we stop looking for the outlet let alone the plug. And besides we were told that we were supposed to be sugar and spice and everything nice and to stuff the deep, dark emotions inside.
So we buck up and motor on and cut ourselves out of the love we long for, the intimacy we crave and our own innate sense of self.
Why would we have these emotions if we’re not supposed to feel them?
Think about a toddler. In the expanse of minute, she can go from gales of laughter to collapsed in tears and then back to giggles again
And yet we’ve been taught, repeatedly, to keep a lid on it, stifle it, hold it back, and hold it in. When we do that we lose so much of our innate enthusiasm and life force. We end up keeping a lid on our vitality and ultimately stop ourselves from becoming the amazing women we were meant to be.
WE NEED TO FEEL
Our feelings connect us to ourselves and to one another. Our feelings connect us to our joy and to our sorrow. They are sacred.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
When we give ourselves permission to fully feel our feelings including the negative dark ones we give them space to be identified, felt and released. Only then can we experience the deep body sensation of being absolutely grounded, plugged in and at peace.
KNOW HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL
Just as important we need to know how we want to feel to attract all that we desire in our lives and create a life we love.
THIS WEEK START EXPLORING
Here’s what to do – Generate a list of feelings that represent how you want to feel. Deep breath. Melt into the process. These will get you stated – serene, alive, free, peaceful, excited, courageous, provocative, sensuous, spirited, loving, curious, fascinated, inspired, hopeful, daring (you get the drift….).
WRITE down each feeling and then ask yourself the following questions:
What does this feeling mean to me?
What happens when I feel like this?
Why do I want to feel like this?
How can I nurture this feeling in my life?
NARROW the list down to the 3 ways you want to feel.
ACTION: Every day do one thing that brings on of these feelings into your life.
Do this daily for 2 weeks and then let us all know how you’re feeling by sharing in the comment box below. Chances are you’ll feel ahhh-mazing!
Please share with al the awesome, amazing women you know who want to start becoming all they were meant to be.
PS if for any reason you get stuck in the process of identifying how you want to feel send me a quick email. I’ll help get you feelin’.